How About One Less Senator

Sen. Ted Cruz is saying the Supreme Court can do without a ninth justice rather than confirm President Obama’s pick, or anyone Hillary Clinton might choose. Let’s just go with a 99-member Senate and let Ted stay cozy at home in his own personal crazy town.

Which brings to mind wondering whether Hillary will stick with Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland. Don’t think she’s said. It should have been a direct debate question.

Pumpkin Time

Autumn breezes get voters thinking. That’s when they get serious about elections. And that’s when the pumpkins come out.

“Tons of pumpkins,” the handwritten sign boasted somewhere along the interstate.

John “Red” Heller had overstated it just a bit.

“Well, OK. Maybe it’s pounds and pounds of pumpkins,” Heller said, pointing to a truckload of the plump, orange symbols of autumn.

The unemployed construction worker had harvested his uncle’s patch the day before. He figures it’s the only money he’ll make this month.

“It’s getting chilly now, and that’s when people start buying these honeys,” Heller said.

greatpumpkinAn old political theory holds that voters turn conservative in the fall.

Springtime months bring thoughts of change and renewal. Bicycle sales increase. People go on diets and clean house.

And the politics of change thrives.

Throughout presidential campaign history, third-party candidates and other rebellious hopefuls have peaked in the spring. That’s when Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump got on a roll.

Support for John Anderson in 1980 and for George Wallace in 1972 rose in the spring and dwindled in the fall.

Many springs ago brought the insurgent campaigns of Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Pat Buchanan.

Ross Perot’s popularity soared in April.

But now the leaves are falling.

In this time for cocooning, Americans tend to look inward, cherish what they have and put off a search for change.

Heller, the pumpkin salesman, says he believes that it doesn’t matter anyway.

“Politicians never change things, do they?” the 37-year-old high school dropout said.

Before he could explain himself further, he turned his attention elsewhere.

A woman and her wide-eyed child had stopped to buy a pumpkin.

Trump Flubs

When Donald Trump loses this election he vowed in Wednesday’s debate he might not accept defeat on Nov. 8.

“I’ll look at it at the time,” Trump said.

Trump was responding to moderator Chris Wallace’s specific questions about whether he would honor the American tradition of the presidential loser conceding to the president-elect.

When Wallace pressed him again, Trump responded again that he’d “keep you in suspense.”

HRC’s response:

“That’s horrifying. You know, every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is, is rigged against him. The FBI conducted a year-long investigation into my e-mails. They concluded there was no case; he said the FBI was rigged. He lost the Iowa caucus. He lost the Wisconsin primary. He said the Republican primary was rigged against him. Then Trump University gets sued for fraud and racketeering; he claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn’t get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged against him. This is a mindset. This is how Donald thinks. And it’s funny, but it’s also really troubling. That is not the way our democracy works. We’ve been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them. And that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election. You know, President Obama said the other day when you’re whining before the game is even finished. It just shows you’re not up to doing the job. And let’s — you know, let’s be clear about what he is saying and what that means. He is denigrating — he’s talking down our democracy. And I, for one, am appalled that somebody who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.”